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Building with Precious things …..#12 Taking Risks & The resistance of the faithless when you do……

Risk: “A situation involving exposure to danger.” RISK.jpg

I have taken a lot of risks in my life time. I did before I met Jesus, and I did it even more “after” I started to know him. Jesus always seemed draw people out into situations that involved Risk. Risky business! (this serving Jesus!) to be sure. 

I know one of the many things God has called me to do, is exhort people to do just what it says in Psalm 118:8. “Trust in God, not in Man.” Is it easy (to do?) certainly not! It’s not hard at all if someone agrees with me, but if they don’t? Man, that can be difficult! 

I am not a person who loves to fight, argue, or debate. I don’t thrive on that kind of stuff. Therefore, if someone is all upset with me (about my faith stance) I find myself saying Okay Father what is this all about? What do I say? How should I handle this? 

I’ll give you an example: When my kids were young, we often had situations where my spouse quite his job (every year or every few months) I was the stay at home mom for the most part, as I could not And I mean could not find a babysitter for us both to work. I figured it out it was cheaper for me to stay home, than to pay a baby sitter for 2 kids and make at that time, 7.00 per hour. We had ONE car. When my spouse worked I had to stay home as nobody was going to buy us a second car and babysitting was amost 5.00 per hour at the time for a good one. No “Welfare” would not help. 

So then we were poor, and could not buy what we needed at times. People would hear about it (some from church) and help but then I got lectures. “You need to work too” they said. Not one of them offered to babysit, (on a regular basis). If I worked and my spouse stayed home, the kids were not safe. They told me about “Man’s help” such as government programs.

They said I could ride ‘The shuttle bus” but when I checked on it, it didn’t work for the days I was scheduled to work. So I would say “I”m trusting God” and it would lead to going to whatever provision he gave me. I was at risk and my kids were at risk and when God would provide, people would say “What are you going to do next time?” Next time? I was hoping there wasn’t a next time! But, there always was a next time that I had to trust God for something. 

You see I HAD read my bible. I read in Revelation “I counsel you to buy from me gold” (Revelation 3:18) and I PRAYED FOR THAT to happen “I want Gold Father more than I want anything else, Gold from you! Gold from Heaven!” (Read Rev 3:18). 

So now, when I tell people what I went through, and how God provided, I get this attitude at times from people. “Shaking their heads” and anylizing my decisions back then. 

Faith makes people feel threatened. Having FAITH In God makes some very uncomfortable.

Sometimes it’s jealousy, other times they are just skeptical. Every time I stood for a miracle, I felt others were watching me as if it were some spectator sport. 

Some did follow my example, but for the most part I got this “Let me know how that goes for you attitude.” When I came out okay, they thought I was just lucky (perhaps). 

Nobody is going to get a Testimony without a test. We aren’t going to have miracles without taking risks, either. I can’t make anyone listen to me. As the years tick by, I find that many have grown cold to such possiblities (Miracles) because they think it only happens on the television set, and maybe those preachers are just doing some magic trick to bring in money (for themselves). 

God’s not going to do things on our terms. He never has, and he never will. HE calls the shots about how, when and where, and our part is to trust him. 

There are times having faith (for that miracle) is going to seem like “more trouble than it’s worth.” At times it seems silly to believe for one, when all you have to do is go along with the staus quo, and nobody will think you are too radical, too wierd, too crazy. 

Still, the mandate is the same. Psalm 118:8 “It’s better to trust in the Lord, than to put confidence in man.” that means “even yourself.” 

Why is it better? Because when you need to believe for a miracle, you’ll have had some practice and experience at it. pray with me if you dare. “Father I want to have a testimony of GOLD in my life. GOLD (of faith) that can come only from you. I want some precious testimonies to build on the foundation of your Holy word that I am saved, but now Father I want something more…….Please help me to achieve this in you. IN Jesus’ precious name…...amen. 

 

 

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When your give a dang gets broken….. Jesus sticks up for you! And the sin of unjust criticism………..

KODAK Digital Still Camera

I’m going to be transparent with you today. Sometimes if I have given (and given) all that I have, and someone gets critical about how I did it, There is a point where I just want to give up on giving at all. There is a song about it and it basically says “My give a dang is broken.”  In the world of biblically-correct Christians, it’s not okay to say that. Leaders go through it (at times) pastors of all kinds, even Mom’s who love their children dearly, experience this phenomina. Pastors and Moms have something in comnon too: They don’t dare say so “in front of the children.” 

I won’t go into the reasons, We’ll just say some days “it all adds up” on us until we reach the tilting point or boiling point, as we may call it. I took it out on someone who did not deserve my wrath (and it’s happened before) All because criticism when I have given it all I’ve got, tends to send me through the roof at times. 

The passage “God loves a Cheerful Giver” was going through my mind. I decided I was not cheerful, so maybe I should not have given at all. Maybe I should not minister at all! I was about to give up, when Jesus came on the scene with his rivers of Living Water and Mighty flood of revelation! 

He said to me “It’s what it cost you” that is getting to you.” And then “Criticism under that cirumstance, is a sin.” 

The story of the widow’s mite came to mind. “She gave all she had to live on” Jesus said and not from her abundance, but she gave all she had.” (Mark 12). 

I know what Jesus is talking about here. I had a friend who typed me letters of encouagement with braces on his hands, because the pain in his hands was so bad he had to wear braces to do it. I just had someone tell me of a gift they are sending that cost them “all they have.” If you’ve ever given your last minute, your only day off, your only 5.00, or given up your only vacation to do something nice for someone else, you know exactly what I am talking about. Smug little sinners with no clue say things like, “Well You should not Martyr yourself!” or they might use a different passage of scripture (God loves a cheerful giver!). 

I have a friend that works full time, and even on weekends at times, but she uses what little free time she has to post helpful scripture on the internet. She Loves Jesus and she gives ALL she has to live on (her wee bit of rest time sometimes) to bless others. When I see someone going on her FB wall having to “correct her” with their “Opinion” I wish I could go and say, “What is your problem?” 

My aghast response to their treachery, is not so far from How Jesus sees it. (He told me so!) However, he also lets me know that he sees every thing we give, and why. 

When someone gives all they have, their last day, minute, breath, or even dollar, (in his Name for his purpose) he sees it, and he commends them for it. Why did Jesus commend that woman? Because, he wanted to get a point across about giving it all (and what it means to him!). Anyone who unjustly criticises those who are giving it all, are sinning against Jesus himself, not just that person. 

Now I ask you? How many people are supposedly “anti-bullying” and yet unjustly criticise the Lord’s servants, who are giving it all they’ve got? So now, what to do about it? GIVE AS UNTO JESUS and let the geese that bite you on the nose after you have helped them, go find their own bread. We need to be about the Father’s business, and doing what he has said to do! 

Later Jesus told his disciples “When you enter a house, speak peace to it and if they do not receive it, your peace will return to you.” Whatever you have done for others will be returned to you………No labor of love is in vain. (Jesus’ promised us this). 

41 Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much. 42 Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans. 43 

So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; 44 for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.” Mark 12:41-44

 

Laura Grace, Author, Grace to Grow

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Relationships Series #5 Control part 2 “The behavior police’ (Galatians 3)

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Relationships #5 Control (Part 2). The Behavior Police
 
They’re out there. “The behavior Police.” You just got saved or you decided to renew your relationship with Jesus, he’s loving on you, and you’re all on fire for him. You’re in love with him! You have returned to your first love. I am happy to report I am in love with my saviour again (Jesus) and I have no intention of letting anyone rip me from his arms, ever again.
 
There was a time (I well remember) when I was not ready for the stuff that happened in church. I thought it was always a safe place, a happy place, full of people who love Jesus.
 
Not always so. (Not always). sometimes there are people in there who just GO to the building and don’t KNOW Jesus (see 1 John) and on FB there are people like that also. they think they know him, but they don’t. If they DID they would not get in the face of one in love with Jesus with their pointy little finger, scolding you, telling you how you better SHAPE UP and do things right!
 
We don’t need to be scolded by those who are NOT our parents. One household runs different from another. It’s the same with God’s people. God has a plan for EACH Person and unless YOU Heard from the Holy Spirit you don’t Know God’s plan for Them!
 
Maybe they aren’t called to make the cookies for the funeral dinner. Maybe God led them to lead someone to Christ last Sunday instead of going to church. Maybe they are tired and God told them to rest. They belong to Jesus! (Not to you!).
 
What did Jesus say to Peter “Feed my lambs” HIS Lambs not YOUR lambs….!! Hmm…and they know HiS Voice! and should be encouraged that they know his voice! Not told to sit and be still in your little military school! 😐
 
We are not in a man-made religious army here. We are grafted in by Faith, receiving from the life giving vine (Jesus). Have you ever looked how a plant operates? Dead stuff is pinched off and new life streams into the new leaves that are growing. 🌱🌳
 
Soon the plant blossoms as it stretches toward the sun. All it needs is water, light, good soil to grow in, and everything must be attached to the vine. We don’t walk up to plants and “Scold them” into submission! We should look for ways to encourage others to stay in the vine and keep on growing (IN Christ Jesus).
 
I want so share a large segment of Galatians. It’s worth reading again and again. A reminder to stand firm in the Faith that first brought you to Jesus (and not be dismayed by the Behavior Police). Laura Grace
 
Galatians 3
 
O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth,[a] before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? 2 This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? 4 Have you suffered so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain?
 
5 Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?— 6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. 7 Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. 8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.”[d] 9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.
 
The Law Brings a Curse
 
10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.”11 But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.” 12 Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.”
 
13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”, 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”
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Relationship #2 No Drama “YOU” are you who you want to be?

Relationship 9

Relationships #2 YOU (Is at the core of every relationship.) Are you who you want to be?

“Being Real” is something we hear all the time. You should “be real” (They say). But it’s not defined. What does being real mean to you? Your anger (about social injustice) outrage (over the issues of life) or even grief, pain, sorrow…..(over untold Losses)

That’s not WHO you really are. is it? No. At the core or heart of relationship-is who WE are. If we don’t like ourselves how do we expect others to like us? If we are not at peace with ourselves, how can anyone else be at peace with us?

Can anyone MAKE us happy? (including God?). I am reminded of the story of Jesus and the man at the pool of Bathesda, (in John, chapter 5) where he said “do you want to be made well?”

Mental health is every bit as important (if not more important) than physical health. Many of us were “messed up” in our minds over things that happened throughout our lives. Abuse. Bullying. Social Injustices. And you don’t have to be a minority to experience discrimination, favoritism, and being left out by those ‘Elitists.”

It all hurts, and it all affects us (deeply) in our hearts.

A whole (Healed) Person has a Healed Soul and Mind. Did you notice Jesus dealt with this man’s heart? (and mind?) “Do you want to be well?”

Do you want to be made well? God asked me one time if I wanted Restoration or Compensation! (Wow!) I chose Restoration. Compensation is what you get when you sue someone over what was done to you. Or get “payment” for your loss.

I don’t want compensation. I want restoration! I choose life!

Even in relationships we have to ask this question: “do we want to get along?” (or do we just want to argue?). Do we want to do the work it takes to have a great relationship?

What’s important to us? What matters most? And truly “WHO” do we wish to be? A fighter? Scrapper? Conquerer? Leader of the band? Or do we wish to have our identity forever be “continual victim” because we believe this is our lot in life?

1.Who do you want to be? And why? God really wants to know! Let him know who you would like to be! Then ask “what he wants you to be!” This is relationship at it’s finest. TWO WAY (not one way).

2. Make peace with yourself (However long it takes)

3. Be a friend (to yourself) And receive all God has for you. This will make you a better friend to others…in the long run (and a better spouse, better employeee, and so on and so forth). This means “Being willing to take correction”.

You’d be amazed at the things I’ve said to Jesus. I came to the conclusion years ago…”He already knows” so.I may as well tell him the truth! Trust me, he can handle it. I’ve said things to God that are so shocking I waited for lightning to hit me! But it didn’t! His love enveloped me instead…….(I testify!)

You can’t “offend him” by telling him the truth! I feel like Giving up Father! I have had about enough Father! I need you to show me Father (And let him know what you truly believe you need from him). I will give you a clue however……that when we ask him for what he already wants to give us, it’s likely to happen a lot quicker.

1 John 5:14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. (NKJV) Peace! Until Next time, -Laura Grace

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Child like Faith (Don’t lose it!)

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Here is what I will tell you for today: Always Walk by the Spirit beware of doctrines of men. Let the Holy Spirit Guide you in all things.

Don’t allow the enemy to get you to put God in a box In other words “Limit him” on what he can or can’t do.

John 21:25 “There are so many other things Jesus did. If they were all written down, each of them, one by one, I can’t imagine a world big enough to hold such a library of books” (MSG)

The bible says if all the miracles Jesus did were written down- there would not be enough books to contain it all.

When we limit God and make him smaller than he is in our own mind because of our own understanding of scripture (OR someone else’s we have learned) We do limit the miracles he can do in our life. We really cannot get around words such as “let it be done to you” according to your Faith.

It’s sad when the doctrines of men limit God- and then cause disasters that God gets the blame for.

Remember sometimes jealousy can be a motivating factor in how we get advised (by others) and they are often not even aware of this. A sort of “you can’t have what I didn’t have” mentality.

“Father forgive them! Truly they know not what they do.” amen

We can grow and still maintain child-like faith.

-with Love, Laura Grace 

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The Favor of God

your-heart-lord-your-heartActs 2:47 “they found favor” 

The Lord’s Favor be upon us! 

You know, the Lord’s favor comes upon us, when we least expect it sometimes. When you pray (for something) and something good happens, that is God’s favor. Now, we know Jesus quoted Isaiah 61, and we know that Jesus did not say he was limiting his favor to one year of blessing. In the year of Jubilee captives were made free (from debt) and property restored, (and many other blessings) but with Jesus, the day he walked into the lives of anyone, was the day of His favor, to them.

For some, favor was a healing. For others, it was listening to teachings and being fed with bread and fish. His disciples found favor in the sight of God, when they witnessed a storm miraculously calmed, or even had their nets laden with fishes, just because Jesus was their friend. They followed him, and the reward was very great.

The disciples lacked for nothing (good) but they had to trade their ideas about what was good, for Jesus’ ideas about what was good. It seemed good to them to build a temple in his honor, but he wanted them to just follow him (and learn), instead. Why?

In the book of Acts (Chapter 2) we see the early church celebrating, telling testimonies, breaking bread, and singing and worshiping. Why? Nobody had lack, everyone was taken care of, and their love for one another was abounding. In fact they were so “on fire’ if you will, their numbers were increasing daily. Everyone wanted to know what all the celebrating was about! People were getting healed, delivered, and set free from bondage, demon torment, and all kinds of things (and they were testifying about this!).

The Lord’s favor does not come of us impressing him with tall buildings, our great achievements in ourselves, or showing off to him how theologically impressive we can be.

The Lord’s favor is given to a humble heart, who just trusts in him. A willing heart who just follows him. An obedient heart, who does what he says, even if man is not impressed.

I have had so much favor on my life through the years, I have almost lost track. Thank you God for your favor! Thank you! I praise you! I rejoice over this! You are so awesome Lord!

PRAISE YOU! and I say this with all sincerity too, because God has done so much for me.

THANK YOU FATHER! PRAISE YOU LORD! -Laura Grace Author, Grace to Grow the Study Guide (Available on Amazon)

Psalm 90 “The Favor of the Lord be upon us” 

Isaiah 61 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; because He has anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor…………

There are many more scriptural references, regarding the Lord’s Favor. http://www.blueletterbible.com